July 20, 2014
Eucalyptus leaves change in appearance as the parent tree ages. While Blue Gum eucalyptus may maintain their juvenile leaves until they are around 30 ft tall., they spend most of their time with leaves like those illustrated above.
Both the mature and juvenile leaves can be used to make a tea, though there are differences in the beverage that results; mature leaves impart their flavor without adding color. A clear tea made from mature eucalyptus leaves tastes slightly of tropical fruit. Immediately, the tea has citrus flavors but finishes with flavors found in the skin of kiwis, guavas, or feijoas; though resembling fruits in flavor, the tea is not sour. Juvenile tea leaves make a yellow tea with a stronger characteristic eucalyptus scent and flavor.
Eucalyptus oil is responsible for the smell for which eucalyptus trees are known, and Blue Gums specifically are chiefly used for this purpose.
These leaves were plucked off a mature Blue Gum eucalyptus tree near Choachi in Colombia on the hike up to the top of Cerro el Quinto.
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